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'We Bought A Zoo' Starring Matt Damon

A movie directed by Cameron Crowe.

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A Charming, Heartwarming And Engaging Film For The Whole Family

  • May 27, 2012
It's not often that a movie comes out suitable for the whole family to watch that will actually keep you engaged, interested and wanting more, with characters that are just as appealing - well, this one is it. Directed by Cameron Crowe and starring Matt Damon, this is a true story of a single father who decides he needs to make a major change for his family - he buys a broken down and struggling zoo to renovate even though he knows nothing about the animals living there, or how to even run a zoo.

Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon) is a writer with 2 children; his son Dylan (played by Colin Ford) and little daughter Rosie (the absolutely ADORABLE Maggie Elizabeth Jones); who is still grieving over the death of his wife and is struggling to keep his family in tact.  Benjamin's relationship with his son Dylan is strained, to say the least, as Dylan is also grieving over the loss of his mother and manages to get in some trouble at school.  Dylan is a wonderful artist, but his recent sketches depict a troubled young teen who is hurting inside.  Rosie is a tiny tot who has the charm and wisdom of a much older child and who has the ability to understand her beloved older brother's problems.  Benjamin's older brother Duncan (fabulously played by Thomas Hayden Church) is an accountant who is trying to lead Benjamin in the right direction with humorous advice.  Benjamin sees his family needs a major change and wants to move his young family out of the city.  He finds a wonderful old country house with the help of real estate broker Mr. Stevens (J.B. Smoove) and thinks it's the perfect place until the broker finally tells him the house is on the grounds of a broken down zoo - complete with animals and zoo keepers.  This doesn't alter his decision to buy it, being sure that this will save his family from inevitable problems.  Rosie is tickled with the decision, but Dylan is not happy and much to his dismay, they move to the zoo.

I don't want to tell too much of the story so as not to ruin it for those of you who have not seen it, but I will say this was a truly heartwarming film.  Matt Damon plays his role eloquently; much different than his usual roles as action characters - I was amazed at Damon's ability to get me so involved with his charming, humorous and father-like character.  Thomas Hayden Church was excellent and depicted his character with subtle humor. Scarlett Johansson plays Kelly, the zoo keeper, and other delightful characters such as Angus Macfadyen, Elle Fanning, John Michael Higgins, J.B. Smoove, and others round out a cast that will truly win your heart.

I think what makes this film so unique and memorable is the fact that the characters seemed to move seamlessly on with their roles - it was almost as if there were no actors at all - you feel as though you're watching the actual live people in this true story.  No fake acting, no unrealistic scenes, nothing to make you feel this was nothing other than a true life family trying to make it work; complete with disagreements between father and son - those scenes especially will make you feel warm and fuzzy without being sappy in the least.  The scenery was delightful as well as the animals, complete with tigers, a grizzly bear and other wonderful critters.  There are engaging conversations - never boring or too involved, and subtle comedy that never seems to make the viewer think the actors are trying to make you giggle on purpose; every scene went on effortlessly with never a dull or boring moment.  The cast, acting and direction were just splendid to say the least.

If you have yet to see this movie, you should.  The whole family can benefit from seeing this, without feeling as though you are watching a sickeningly sweet and unrealistic family film.  It is a memorable story that you will not soon forget, and it's a story that truly deserved to be told.  This is a definite "must see" movie!!

A Charming, Heartwarming And Engaging Film For The Whole Family A Charming, Heartwarming And Engaging Film For The Whole Family A Charming, Heartwarming And Engaging Film For The Whole Family A Charming, Heartwarming And Engaging Film For The Whole Family

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May 28, 2012
Yes, I like this one too but mostly because it's Matt Damon's film. However, I still haven't get used to seeing Matt Damon as a father of 2 kids, LOL... Anyhow, it's a reasonably good movie. Glad that you enjoyed it!
May 28, 2012
I agree with you on the Matt Damon thing - and he looked so different I thought! Thanks for the read - oh and by the way, I have not forgotten about the review you asked me about; I have started on it and should finish it soon.
May 28, 2012
May 28, 2012
when I first heard that this was a true story, I was amazed. Been meaning to see this in netlfix but those guys always send me something else. Nice review! You are back and you are getting back to top form.
May 28, 2012
Thank you Will! I read mixed reviews about this one but I couldn't help but be charmed by the whole movie. I think that many people were looking for it to be a comedy as that was what it was listed as; I wouldn't call it that myself, though it had humor, but maybe some were disappointed that it really wasn't a full comedy as expected. Thanks for the read, the comment and your compliment!!
More We Bought a Zoo reviews
review by . December 29, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I't's a zoo alright.
WE BOUGHT A ZOO Written by Aline Brosh McKenna and Cameron Crowe Directed by Cameron Crowe Starring Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson and Thomas Hayden Church   In 2006, a man by the name of Benjamin Mee bought a zoo alongside his mother and his brother. He had no experience with animals and, in fact, his offer to buy the zoo was originally rejected based on his inexperience. The zoo had been closed earlier that year and it was Mee’s plan to refurbish and reopen to the public as soon …
review by . December 21, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
'We Bought A Zoo' 'Two Jews On Film' Applaud Cameron Crowe's New Family Dramedy (Video)
         By Joan Alperin Schwartz      'Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage and I promise something great will happen'...Ben (Matt Damon) says this terrific line to his teenage son, Dylan (Colin Ford)...Ben got the line from his older brother, Duncan (Thomas Haden Church) and...      It's just one of the many awesome lines of dialogue in Cameron Crowe's new film …
Quick Tip by . May 28, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Matt Damon was the reason I went for the movie. The little girl (starring Maggie Elizabeth Jones) is who caught my heart! A movie that leaves you with the fuzzy feelings when you leave the theater. Nothing original, except the idea of living in a zoo!
review by . December 27, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         In August of 2006, the Mee family of Devon, England – consisting of DIY columnist and animal lover Benjamin, his brother Duncan, his mother Amelia, and his two children – invested £1.1 million of their own money into the Dartmoor Wildlife Park, a local landmark which opened in 1968 and was forced to close thirty-eight years later after falling on hard times. The eleven-month renovation, which required not only an additional £500,000 …
About the reviewer
Brenda ()
Ranked #56
I love to read mysteries and thrillers; I am addicted to scary psychological thrillers and horror movies; "The Exorcist" and "Silence of the Lambs" being 2 of my favorites. I love … more
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Movies, Comedy, Drama, Animals, Family, Love, Matt Damon, True Story, Scarlett Johansson, Loss, Elle Fanning, Relationship, Thomas Haden Church, We Bought A Zoo, Cameron Crowe, Angus Macfaden, Colin Ford


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